Amazon Tops List Of Google Search Advertisers

Search advertising is something that can certainly pay off, as millions of users go to Google on a daily basis to find information on something they need right away. So, of course, various retailers will boost said advertising in the hopes of drawing in more consumers – and it appears that online retailer Amazon is leading the pack.

Even though the Amazon site acts as a rival for online ad dollars against Google, it’s managed to spend nearly $158 million on Google U.S. search ads last year, according to a report from Ad Age DataCenter, based on data from AdGooroo, a Kantar Media company that deals with search marketing.

Amazon engages with other sites when it comes to selling search and display ads, which makes it a competitor to Google – thus making the investment of search advertising on its rival’s page a bit more interesting. However, it’s a small price to pay, as Amazon has managed to generate $750 million from worldwide advertising revenue, a number it plans to increase this year to just over $1 billion, according to eMarketer.

The top 25 U.S. search ad buyers alone spent $1.34 billion on generating ads through the Google site alone, including the likes of Priceline Group, AT&T, Expedia and Microsoft rounding out the top five, followed by other companies like Walmart, Comcast and Best Buy, each with values ranging from $38 million to $82.3 million.

Amazon spends quite a bit in general when it comes to search advertising, investing $19.5 million in search ads and $1.2 million in ads for Microsoft’s Bing service for July 2014 alone, according to AdGooroo.

Surprisingly not high on the list, however, are retailers. While mainstays like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Sears are present, none of them get close to the top five. This is mainly due to the fact that search is the dominant digital-ad format for direct-response advertisers, such as retail brands. However, their costs for said ads is likely to double within the year, according to eMarketer.

Product-search service Google Shopping appears to be a big avenue for these retailers, according to AdGooroo CEO Rich Stokes. “Retailers are underrepresented (in the top-25-search-spenders ranking), but that makes sense because of PLA (or Product Listing Ads),” said Stokes. The company didn’t research spending in this department.

What do you think Is it a little strange that Amazon would spend money through its competitor to gain ad exposure, or is it a solid business practice

Source: AdAge

Twitter, The Game Seller’s Friend

Video game marketing has changed quite a bit over the years, as evidently proved by Activision’s promotional push behind the recently released Destiny, complete with an impressive live action trailer. Now, Twitter UK’s Samir Bhana believes that, when it comes to selling games, the social site can actually play a huge part.

Talking at the Games Retail 2020 event yesterday, Bhana explained his belief that Twitter is a site that’s driven by the events that happen in the now, and that includes appealing to consumers looking for particular game products.

80 percent of Twitter traffic comes from mobile devices, according to Bhana, as the average user unlocks their phone an estimated 110 times a day to check their statuses. As a result, over a billion moments for companies to engage with users occur every two days. That’s quite a bit.

On top of that, 61 percent of Twitter users engage in games to some degree, making it the most popular hobby across the site’s entire audience. Social networks followed in second place with a close 59 percent, and entertainment was in a somewhat distant third at 40 percent.

To demonstrate the popularity of Twitter with hot trends, Bhana then showed a video of the World Cup penalty shootout between Brazil and Chile from earlier in the year, with real-time reactions from users as the game took place.

Speaking of sports, Electronic Arts has already jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, as it will use Twitter to align its soccer brand FIFA 15 with new developments throughout the real soccer season.

No doubt other companies may show interest in such a formula, as Twitter’s wide base of followers, interests, and overall user base follow a specific style of marketing. Through its program, companies can launch “non-obtrusive ads” through promoted tweets, trends and users, allowing three ads at any one time on a user’s Twitter account. In addition, the company wants to test a “buy” card that lets users click on tweets and be taken right to a purchase screen for a product.

What do you think Can Twitter be the gateway to better game sales for certain companies

Source: MCV UK

New VR Headset Kickstarting

The virtual reality market is quickly heating up, between Facebook’s $2 billion investment in the Oculus Rift, Sony’s forthcoming Project Morpheus, and Samsung’s previously announced headset. With that, another company is attempting to jump in, looking to raise funds on Kickstarter to get things started.

That company is Vrvana, and it’s proposed a new headset called the Totem that will help immerse users in virtual worlds with a fantastic-looking headset, as seen above. The device actually features onboard cameras and acceleration tracking instead of the usual external tracking camera that these devices use, allowing for better possibilities with integration when it comes to a virtual experience. It can also track hand movement, something not all the devices above can do without assistive tools.

Instead of relying on a secondary computer unit to run programs, the Totem headset comes with powerful onboard processing and control emulation. As a result, it has an increase in compatibility, as it can be used across the board for tablets, PC’s, phones and even select game consoles.

The Totem headset also allows for comfort, with a foam-cushioned liner on the inside that allows users to see things, even if they feel the need to wear glasses. With the sharp imagery included inside, however, chances are most people won’t really need them.

The team behind Vrvana consists of several French Canadian engineers, who worked as a team in 2005 as True Player Gear. It’s been working on various VR models over the past decade, with the Totem being the end result of its research.

Vrvana’s Totem program has kicked off on Kickstarter, and thus far, over $105,000 has been raised, with a goal of $350,000 that needs to be met in just under a month. As usual, there are plenty of rewards to be reaped for those who take part, including their own Totem headset and a visit to the company’s lab, to see the tech in person.

To learn more about the Totem headset, watch the video below, and then follow this link over to the Kickstarter page. Once funded, this could definitely be a game changer in the virtual business – even with the other “big guys” at play.

Source: Kickstarter, Digital Trends

This Week’s [a]list Jobs – September 17th

[a]listdaily is now your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media. Check here every Wednesday for the latest openings.

Here are this week’s [a]list jobs:

  • Blizzard – Director, Partnerships and Promotions (Irvine, Calif.)
  • Hulu – Content Acquisition (Santa Monica, Calif.)
  • Maker – VP, Director of Talent Partnerships (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • A&E – Director, Marketing Initiative Development (New York, NY)
  • Ayzenberg – Director, Business Development, ION (Pasadena, Calif.)

For last week’s [a]list jobs, click here.

Hologram Promotion For ‘Disney Infinity 2.0’

Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes‘s marketing push is about to begin, as the game is now less than a week away from release. However, Disney Interactive took a more innovative step in that direction this past weekend, with a special holographic light show in London.

Using special hologram technology, several heroes were able to virtually appear at the event. The Incredible Hulk, for example, was able to “raise” London Bridge with said technology, while other heroes, including Iron Man, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Venom, Thor and others also made appearances.

The promotion was a tie-in for the game’s delivery to Hamley’s in Regent Street, acting as “special escorts” to get people excited for the game.

However, Disney needn’t worry about popularity when it comes to the forthcoming Disney Infinity sequel. The original game managed to generate over $500 million since its release on the strength of the Disney character library alone. Adding in the Marvel factor – including the highly successful new property Guardians of the Galaxy, which has generated over $600 million in ticket sales – and Marvel Super Heroes should have no problem selling.

Still, the competitive environment for toy/game hybrids is only getting tougher with the entry of Nintendo this fall, debuting the new Amiibo line of toys based on iconic Nintendo properties. Nintendo’s not going to let those products come out without a big promotional push. Meanwhile, Activision has its new Skylanders: Trap Team arriving, and as the inventor of the category Activision will not want to give away any ground to either Disney or Nintendo. It’s going to be a big marketing battle, and Disney’s effort is merely the first salvo.

The video from the event is available below, and it’s kind of cool how Disney was able to integrate a 36-foot Hulk into “lifting” the London Bridge with rather seamless results.

Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes arrives on September 23rd for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Wii U and 3DS.

Source: Comic Book Resources, East London Advertiser UK


Streaming TV Devices Leading Close Race

The battle for streaming TV services continues to be quite high these days, between such devices as the Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. And yet, it’s too soon to declare a winner, as all four seem to be doing remarkably well.

Roku, for instance, has managed to reach the ten million mark after releasing the device six years ago. While that seems like a slow sales number, it’s been catching up quite a bit over the years, especially with the debut of newer models on the market.

Regarding the general market, Apple TV, which has sold over 20 million units and generated a billion dollars for the company, had a share drop from 46 percent to 39 percent over the past year, while Roku dove a bit from 33 percent to 28 percent. Meanwhile, Google’s Chromecast has managed to leave its mark with a 16 percent share since its debut, and Amazon Fire TV no doubt has its share on the market, even though it remains untracked until next quarter.

It just goes to show that the dynamic of television is changing – and Apple’s own Tim Cook was quick to note that. In an interview on The Charlie Rose Show, Cook was quick to blast mainstream TV services. “TV is one of those things that, if we’re really honest, is stuck back in the 70’s,” said Cook on the show. “Think about how much your life has changed. And all the things around you that have changed.

“And yet TV – when you are in your living room to watch the TV or wherever you might be – it almost feels like you’re rewinding the clock, and you’ve entered a time capsule, and you’re going backwards.

“The interface is terrible. I mean it’s awful. And you watch things when the come on, unless you remembered to record them,” he said.

However, Cook believes that the Apple TV can improve over time. “There are lots of things we’d like to work on and have interest in, but we know we can’t do everything great,” he said. “TV is one we continue to have great interest in.” It’s possible Apple may introduce an improved Apple TV as soon as next month, though as yet the company has said nothing about it officially. Rumors continue that at some point we’ll see a new Apple TV with an App Store, though.

What do you think Does the rise of streaming TV have a big effect on general television services

Source: Venturebeat, Variety

Twitch Debuts Its Services On Chromecast

Even before its acquisition by Amazon in a deal valued just under a billion dollars, Twitch has been working hard to get more exposure across various media types. This includes streaming on PC and mobile devices, as well as devoted apps and services for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Now, it’s reaching out to a new medium — Google’s Chromecast.

Google has announced that Twitch is now available through Chromecast, enabling those that own Chromecast devices can stream gaming videos across a phone, tablet, laptop or television with ease. Going for $35, Chromecast has become the go-to device for some users when it comes to pushing video from the Internet to a TV — and Twitch will no doubt add to that populkarity.

“We are often asked if Twitch will ever be available on TV. My response is, we already are. Our Xbox and PlayStation integrations make it a one-click process to watch Twitch on your big screen,” said vice president of marketing for Twitch, Matthew DiPietro. “Chromecast is the latest in a line of products and features that will make it easy to have a ‘living room’ Twitch experience. It’s been one of the most requested features from our community, so we’re excited to get it into the wild.”

The streaming service is said to work impeccably well on Chromecast devices, enabling users to find their favorite streaming superstars with one quick search, and even take part in chat sessions with fellow fans and the streamers themselves.

This is just the latest move for Twitch in what has been a pretty jam-packed year, between tournament announcements, partnerships with consoles and, of course, that blockbuster Amazon deal. And the company likely isn’t done yet, as it will introduce several new features that tie in with its acquisition, possibly leading to more advanced support.

So get excited, streaming fans, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Source: GamesIndustry International

‘Super Smash Bros.’ Sells Big For Nintendo

There’s no question that Nintendo has been struggling a bit as of late. Even with the sales numbers from its summer release Mario Kart 8 gaining ground, the company’s been losing grasp on its audience with the Wii U, especially with the recent news that such big third-party games like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Assassin’s Creed: Rogue wouldn’t be released for the console.

However, Super Smash Bros. could easily turn that around this holiday season. The game, which features many popular Nintendo and other game characters brawling against each other in multiplayer fashion, is releasing on 3DS for October 3, and rumored to arrive on Wii U on November 21.

If overseas sales and recent demo downloads are any indication, the title could be a monster hit for the company. A sales report from Japan indicates that the 3Ds game alone has managed to surpass the one million sales mark in just two days’ time, accounting for both physical copies and digital downloads.

In addition, Nintendo surprised a few select Club Nintendo members over the past weekend with the debut of a playable demo for the game. The demand for it was so high that it flooded servers, forcing Nintendo to take down its virtual eShop temporarily in order to fix things up. Here’s hoping they’re at full strength when the demo releases for all customers on September 19.

Even with its sales woes and lack of third-party support, Nintendo expects to ride high on Christmas sales. Hyrule Warriors will debut on the Wii U on September 26, with Bayonetta 2 following closely behind on October 24. Then Smash will come, just in time for the holiday sales rush, and Nintendo will no doubt see sales for that title flourish on both platforms.

Now it’s just a matter of seeing if it can keep up this momentum – and maybe gain back its third-party partners – with a slew of new games set for 2015.

What do you think Is Smash enough to bring Nintendo back to form

Source: Gamespot

DoubleVerify Taps Veenome To Help Advertisers Avoid Unsafe Videos

By Sahil Patel

DoubleVerify, a provider of ad verification services, is integrating technology from Veenome to make it easier for advertisers to steer clear of unsafe or irrelevant video content.

Veenome analyzes websites and pages to determine if content on that page is brand safe and categorically relevant. The tech also provides information on a number of other attributes important to video advertisers, including the size of the video player, if the video auto-plays and/or is muted, and the nature of the content and language surrounding the player.

These capabilities will now be available to customers of DoubleVerify’s DV Video+ product, which launched earlier this month to help marketers combat fraud. DV Video+ offers a suite of tools for viewability measurement, engagement measurement, and ad blocking.

With the Veenome integration, DV Video+ customers will be able to learn which categories of content to avoid for a particular advertiser or campaign, in addition to the other data Veenome provides.

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

Best Cinematic Trailers For The Week

This past week brought a number of new trailers to the forefront, including upcoming films and video games that will no doubt catch a few eyes this holiday season. Here’s a round-up of some of the best from the past week.

Brad Pitt’s latest movie, Fury, has quite the dramatic edge to it. It takes place during World War II, and puts Pitt into the shoes of a Sherman tank commander named Wardaddy, who’s tasked with keeping his team in one piece while hunting down Nazis in Germany. The film, the latest from Sabotage and End of Watch writer David Ayer, will debut on movie screens this October.

Taking a completely different turn from the events above, Money for Nothing: A History of the Music Video has its own story to tell, looking back on the forgotten art of music videos. First popularized by MTV in the 80’s (and then later abandoned in favor of reality TV programming), music videos were the premiere form for artists to reach out to their fans. Their creativity is also noteworthy, something the movie will explore when it releases later this year.

In Ubisoft’s latest trailer for Assassin’s Creed Unity, multiplayer takes a huge emphasis, as players can team up with one another to complete heists, assassinations and other missions, all for the sake of turning the tide during the French Revolution. With its unprecedented features and stirring visuals, Unity should certainly shake things up when it releases on November 11 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

Kickbeat: Special Edition isn’t your usual music/rhythm game. Instead of strumming a guitar or playing some form of musical instrument, you instead play a martial arts master who beats down thugs while playing along with a song. This unique blend of action and music makes for a unique experience, one that’s available this week on Wii U and PlayStation 4, and coming soon to the Xbox One.

With Grand Theft Auto V set to launch on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on November 18 and PC in early 2015, Rockstar Games is really going all out to further establish the story that hooked millions of gamers last year. Featuring an interesting array of characters and some over-the-top action scenarios, A Picket Fence and a Dog Named Skip trailer is well worth seeing.

Source: YouTube